The Key Ingredient to Successful Projects

Steve Bailey
5 min readNov 11, 2021
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The most significant disruption of the 21st century is not technology, artificial intelligence or big data, but it is the way organizations and countries will be managed — through Projects.

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Give Projects a Purpose

If we identify how new technology, artificial intelligence or big data are successfully delivered within an organisation it will be via a project. Projects are the vehicle of change within businesses, as well as the platform from where innovation occurs. Before an action is taken by a project team, there is varying levels of effort undertaken to start a project in the first place. Most projects start out with a particular problem to be solved, cue research into the problem and understanding its various complexities and potential solutions. After the research, often rounds of presentations take place as the project makes its way closer to the person who holds the ‘purse strings’.

There will be a large commitment of time from multiple people across the business just to get a project approved. There is a significant risk that all this collective endeavour can ultimately be undone, if the projects purpose is ineffectively communicated. In the Harvard Business Review, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez states “few organizations spend enough time articulating the why of their projects”. In the very same article it states “Purpose Drives Engagement and Higher Performance”. Articulating why a project is being undertaken and sharing that with project members can be critical to the success of the project.

Make Work Meaningful for People

Think about daily decisions we all make, everything is driven by a purpose, however most of the decisions are habitual and we give very little thought towards. The food shop is a classic example, the purpose for grocery shopping is sustenance, however in most developed countries we never think about the food shop as sustenance to sustain life, the thought is often around which brand I would like for a certain dish or deliberating over the price of the food items.

I believe for most people the same is true for work, a primary purpose of work for the individual is to generate an income to provide a certain lifestyle. This belief is backed by research by Amy